Wedged between Mosley and Portland Streets, Manchester’s Chinatown a riot of colour and flavour; restaurants serving up Chinese, Japanese, Nepalese, Vietnamese and Thai food jostle for attention at street level, with more places to eat, specialist groceries, karaoke bars and massage parlours occupying basements and upper floors. It’s always a fun place for dining out, and some of the city’s top kitchens are here. Every Mancunian has an opinion about the best restaurants in Chinatown.
If you’re looking for spice, the mighty Red Chilli gets a lot of love from foodies; it was one of the first to serve fiery Sichuan food in town. For Japanese, head for Yuzu – this restaurant doesn’t even serve sushi but is widely reckoned to be among the best in the city. Feast on homestyle rice and noodle dishes, and sample what may be the city’s best sake bar. Finally, Ho’s Bakery’s buns are not to be missed – honey buns, cream buns, coconut, and red bean buns, all pillowy soft in that way that only Chinese baking can be.
The small markets in Chinatown are a terrific resource for the home cook. Wing Fat, Woo Sang, and their competitors stock a broad selection of Chinese produce, including obscure greens you’ll never see in Tesco. The more adventurous can experiment with esoteric snacks like dried cuttlefish, day-glo pink panda-shaped biscuits, and squat doughy cakes filled with crushed peanuts.
Yang Sing, 34 Princess Street, Manchester, M1 4JY - Visit now
Yang Sing has long been regarded as one of city’s finest Chinese restaurants, by both critics and diners alike. It’s based on the edge of Chinatown and comes highly praised for its dim sum and range of unusual dishes. It’s a near certainty you won’t recognise all the meals so be sure to befriend your waiter.
Ho’s Bakery, 56 Faulkner Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 4FH - Visit now
One of the city’s true hidden gems, Ho’s Bakery serves up cakes and buns softer than any traditional British fare. Impossibly moreish, and just as calorific, this is a once-a-month treat – if you have the willpower that is. Service can be a tad abrupt but don’t let that put you off.
Hunan Restaurant, 1st Floor, 19-21 George St, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 4HE - Visit now
Hunan serves up generous portions of tasty, unpretentious food at pleasingly low prices – exactly what you hope to find in Chinatown. The cuisine is based on the Hunan province of China, which means it’s spicy but not gasping-for-air spicy. Certainly worth a visit or three.
Teppanyaki Chinatown, 58-60 George St, Manchester, M1 4HF - Visit now
Chinatown isn’t strictly about Chinese food, there are plenty of other east Asian options too. The Japanese teppanyaki style of cooking involves a chef using an iron griddle in front of diners, often performing theatrics to entertain the diners. While being entertaining, Teppanyaki Chinatown brings this long-established style of cooking back to its more credible and sophisticated roots.